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Lincecum optimistic his season's not over

Giants righty throws on flat ground in recovery from hip treatment

ARLINGTON -- An upbeat Tim Lincecum expressed confidence that he will pitch again for the Giants this season, though he last performed more than a month ago and continues to cope with a degenerative hip condition.

"The way things have been progressing, I don't see why not," Lincecum said of his chances to pitch. He spoke at length with reporters Saturday for the first time since receiving cortisone shots in both hips during a July 20 visit to Dr. Thomas Byrd, a Nashville, Tenn.-based hip specialist.

Lincecum, 31, acknowledged he doesn't know when he'll throw off a mound, either during his recovery or in a game. Saturday at Globe Life Park, Lincecum played catch on flat ground at distances ranging from 60 to 110 feet, then threw briefly to a coaching assistant crouching like a catcher at 45 feet.

Lincecum initially went on the disabled list after he sustained a bruised wrist June 27. He then decided to seize upon the idle time to have Byrd examine his hips, which have bothered him since last year.

"I wasn't feeling normal," said Lincecum, who hoped the cortisone shots will "get that area to chill out, calm down and hopefully get my body working in the right way again."

Lincecum said his discomfort "doesn't scream 'surgery,'" though it helps him focus upon the areas needing treatment.

Though San Francisco's acquisition of right-hander Mike Leake thickens the Giants' glut of starters and could prevent Lincecum from starting again, the two-time Cy Young Award winner and four-time National League All-Star welcomed his new teammate.

"We kind of needed it," Lincecum said, referring to the existing starters' erratic efforts and health issues.

Chris Haft is a reporter for Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.
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